by Michael R. Phillips, MD
Published in The Joplin Globe
Monday, February 23, 2009
In today’s troubled economic times, it is difficult to prioritize one’s health above basic essentials and basic needs. However, that is exactly what needs to be done. The stress caused by financial and/or other hardships often unearth underlying heart disease, or degrade living habits and diet to the point that the critical nature of one’s disease becomes apparent. Moreover, it is well known that heart and peripheral vascular disease continue to be leading causes of death in the United States.
Obesity also contributes significantly to heart and vascular disease. Obesity alone has become a major contributing factor to the economic, emotional, and financial strains on our community. For example, teenage obesity has reached epidemic proportions, and the complications of obesity, such as musculoskeletal disorders and diabetes, will affect our communities’ healthcare system for generations to come.
I urge anyone who has any risk factors for heart disease, such as family history, smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, stress, or obesity, to see a physician as soon as possible. Simple, inexpensive, and noninvasive tests performed by your doctor could easily improve the length and quality of your life by modifying the risk factors previously described.
Again, during these challenging economic times, please do not forget to take care of yourself and your loved ones first. At the end of the day, that is all that really matters.
About Michael R. Phillips, MD
Michael R. Phillps, MD, is a board-certified cardiothoracic and vascular surgeon at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute.